SHAH ALAM - The support of Malaysians for their beauty queens is still "not quite there yet", said former beauty queen Elaine Daly.
Daly, who was Miss Universe Malaysia 2003, said strong public support would really boost their confidence, especially when they had to represent Malaysia on the international stage.
"I cannot reiterate enough how huge an event the Miss Universe pageant is, unless you are there. It's like any other sporting event. I'd like for Malaysia to give a lot more support to these women," she told reporters after introducing the 19 finalists for the Miss Universe Malaysia 2014 pageant yesterday.
However, Daly said the level of awareness about beauty pageants had increased with fewer people assuming that the participants were mere pretty faces.
She said it took great physical and mental strength to endure the weeks of competition, stressing that it was not a superficial job.
Daly, who has taken over the helm as Miss Universe Malaysia's mentor and adviser, said she was helping the current Miss Universe Malaysia, Carey Ng, to be ready for the pageant in Moscow in October.
She said she would also be grooming the 19 finalists for next year's pageant, adding that they would be put through a very strict regimen.
Daly said they had just finished filming day three of the reality show, which is in its third year of broadcast, and that there had already been "a lot of tears and drama".